The sister of the iconic detective envisioned by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Enola Holmes first appears in a series of teen novels written by Nancy Springer, an American writer who has made the character hijack her specialty. With Sherlock already immersed in adaptations on the big and small screens, it’s Enola’s turn to have her own film on Netflix. Overdose or originality? Response to criticism.
The least that can be said is that Sherlock Holmes fans have something to enjoy, especially on Netflix. We find there excellent adaptations for the modern dressing of private detectives – reincarnated by Benedict Cumberbatch – with the Sherlock of Steven Moffat series, or Guy Ritchie’s film Sherlock Holmes: Game of shadows, productions which make both respectable, in their own way, by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. It’s no wonder that Netflix decided to capitalize on the world’s famous detective with a new character, Enola Holmes.
To develop the standout character of his famous older brother, Netflix is betting on two of its favorite actors, one known for playing Eleven in Stranger Things, the other playing Geralt de Riv in The Witcher series. The thing is, Millie Bobby Brown (Enola Holmes) is far more believable in the role of the telekinesis-savvy Mk-Ultra program guinea pig than a 16-year-old private detective improvising as a Ju-jitsu expert. As for Henry Cavill, he plays Sherlock Holmes who is quite transparent but nevertheless relatively convincing. Those who put their hopes in the extraordinary talent of Helena Bonham Carter (Eudoria Holmes, mother of Enola, Sherlock and Mycroft) are likely to be disappointed quickly: this British actress only appeared very briefly,
The plot is, in fact, based primarily on Nancy Springer’s first novel devoted to Enola Holmes, La Double Disparition. The title is very clear: Enola must solve two mysteries, the disappearance of her mother and an English Lord. If comparisons with the Sherlock Holmes investigation are not necessary – Enola Holmes is addressed to the juvenile public – the adventures of the young detective remain very agreeable. The investigation into Holmes’s sister advances mainly thanks to puns, newspaper clippings or even simple luck. But it’s not these elements, or the lack of twists, or slight inconsistencies that hinder the scenario the most.
The problem is, in the small world of adaptation of children’s literature, “Enola Holmes” remains a very classic work, let alone a cliché. We saw more of an adventure than the investigation itself, while a convincing investigation was probably the minimum we could hope for from this film. The character of Enola Holmes also suffers from certain cliches in children’s literature: the young girl always lives, never struggles to win over her enemies, etc. Obviously, all these mistakes at the beginning of the course only ask to be corrected in the possible consequences.
The action scenes aren’t particularly enchanting but they’re still true, the late 19th-century British setting is rendered relatively well thanks to the costumes and sets, and the narrative remains very clear as we come face to face with Millie Bobby Brown even more. more talkative than in Stranger Things which doesn’t hesitate to break the fourth wall to explain to viewers what’s going on. Enola Holmes escapes the trap of being a simple, younger, feminine cut and paste Sherlock. Unfortunately that doesn’t make him an original character so far.